Looking to get into business in the Kootenays?
Fortunately, there’s plenty of help available to see you fulfill your dream as economic development, and the growing support of entrepreneurs and business, is at the top of the list of priorities for the entire Kootenay region, East and West.
Business development in a nutshell
According to Wikipedia, business development is defined as “developing and implementing growth opportunities within and between organizations… the creation of long-term value for an organization from customers, markets, and relationships.”
With initiatives such as Community Futures, CBT’s Impact Investment Fund, New Ventures BC, Kootenay Workforce Development, ImagineKootenay, and others, this definition applies for many, if not all, local communities and organizations as they eagerly commit resources and support geared to growing business and opportunity.
Financing doesn’t necessarily come down to profitability
Back in October of last year, the Columbia Basin Trust announced their new $2-million Impact Investment Fund to expand funding possibilities for businesses throughout the Basin. Aware of the need to provide financial support to those endeavours showing the potential to benefit the Basin region in ways other than financial returns to an investor. Administered by Community Futures, the fund provides financing to business opportunities of high risk, unable to secure loans by conventional means.
“We will continue to invest in opportunities that give us the income we need to provide programs and services to the Basin,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “However, sometimes an opportunity doesn’t fit our standard financial requirements, nor is eligible for a grant–and yet deserves to be supported for other reasons. The Impact Investment Fund gives us the ability to help these businesses strengthen and grow.”
All types of businesses can apply directly to Community Futures, including for-profits, non-profits, social enterprises, First Nations businesses and start-ups. Of course, the business must be located in the Basin as well the impacts must be deemed directly positive in the Basin.
Local crowdfunding may mean the world for your business
The concept of crowdfunding isn’t exclusively that of the big players such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Local ventures like InvestLocalBC are targeting potential investors regionally to support ideas, projects and startups closer to home.
InvestLocalBC is an initiative of Stuart Nechako of Community Futures. Geared to encourage local nonprofits, the arts communities and business startups to create online forums to fund, support and evolve their initiatives and projects in our communities. Accelerating creative ideas into reality, InvestLocalBC provides an online platform to guide financial investment and collaboration.
For more information regarding any or all of these programs, please contact the Community Futures office in your area: Central Kootenay (1.250.352.1933, ac.cb.serutuf@ofni); East Kootenay (1.800.661.2293, ac.kefc@ofni); Fraser Fort George (1.800.661.2055, ac.cb.cdfc@lareneg); Greater Trail (250.364.2595, moc.serutufytinummoc@ofni); Revelstoke (1.250.837.5345, moc.fcekotslever@ofni).